Fiction from Xenia Taiga

Photo: Schanin

The Trampoline Sissies

The Trampoline Sissies like to go braless and wear short skirts. They live in a neighborhood where all the houses’ exteriors look alike. Just before dusk they go outside to their backyards and jump on their trampolines. One forearm is squashed-flat over their boobies and their left hand is tightly pressed between their crotches to keep their modesty. The old ladies walking their Shih Tzus see their heads bobbing over the wooden fences and yell, “Go to Target and buy yourself a bra!” The Trampoline Sissies bounce higher and higher, ignoring their children’s grumbling tummies. In midair they cram gummy bears, Milky Way bars, and Hershey’s Kisses into their mouths. When their lips are stained licorice red and their chins are dyed a sticky sweet orange-yellow hue, they collapse and throw up. At five o’clock their husbands’ cars pull up in the drive way. They get up and jump all over again watching their husbands, from one window to the next, roam through the house. They suck in their stomachs and hold their breasts tighter, waiting for what comes next. On cue their husbands push the curtains away, slide the backdoor open and say, “Honey for frick’s sake it’s late and the kids are hungry.” They glare at their husbands thinking of ways to kill them. They could leave the kids locked up in the hot car or use a crossbow, but they don’t have a crossbow and the car belongs to their husbands. The Trampoline Sissies (ladies, women, mothers, teenagersgirls, toddlers) stop jumping and use the garden hose to wash the vomit off. They scrub away their wild lustful longings until they are a woman, wife, mother, and holy clean. In the kitchen they talk with a voice they’ve learned in church and ask, “What would you like to eat, sweetie?” Their husbands mutter something from the living room (the TV’s blaring), their children cling to them (pulling their limbs here and there). They can’t hear their husbands, they don’t feel their children. They open the cupboards and pick a can (any can). Open it, dump it, nuke it. Like chickens the family comes to the dinner table (clucking and squawking). The Trampoline Sissies sneak off to the side and head to the room no one uses; there they fall into a trance watching reality TV until the house becomes eerily quiet, then their consciences ticks ticks ticks them awake to check on their children, their husbands, the kitchen’s stove, but their eyelids heavy with sleep overtakes and for the time being they forget and forgive everything.


Xenia Taiga lives in southern China with a cockatiel, a turtle and an Englishman.

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